Steven Stamkos had himself a night, posting three primary points in a 4-0 Tampa Bay Lightning win over the Philadelphia Flyers. He scored a goal, and assisted on buckets from Corey Perry (his first, finally, as a Bolt) and Alex Barre-Boulet. Zach Bogosian was the early star of the game, scoring in the first period and bagging an assist as well.
Andrei Vasilevskiy earned his first shutout — yeah, you read that right — of the season, stopping all 34 shots he faced. It’s hard to believe that’s his first shutout as he’s come close three times to a perfect night, but it took until now for it to finally happen. The shutout is Vasilevskiy’s 27th of his career, extending his franchise record.
Stamkos had a vintage night back as the first line center, taking on the other team’s top line, getting kinda kicked in the shot share, but somehow finding a way to score a critical goal at a crucial time and go home with a three-point night. The Bolts needed someone to pick them up and carry them forward, and Stamkos is doing that by taking on those tough minutes and still finding ways to produce.
Beyond the line-matching for Stamkos, the rest of the lines were rolled out pretty evenly — you could tell because all the defenders except Cal Foote played the most minutes — and they all found ways to produce. Every line but the Stamkos line was above water in shots, which had to happen when he took on so much of the load. It kept the team in control of the play and it paid off, especially in the second and third, as you can see from the shot plot.
Right off the bat, Zach Bogosian gives the Lightning an early lead with a long shot while Perry did Perry things in front of the net. Mikhail Sergachev got the first assist from teeing up the goal, and Maroon got the second assist for the puck retrieval.
Anthony Cirelli moved into the center position following the long-term injury to Brayden Point between Mathieu Joseph and Alex Killorn (technically the second line). That line had some good chances, breaking through the Flyers defense with some hard work down low. Nothing pretty, but definitely effective.
Cirelli with two nice chances in a row. Nearly handcuffed Hart on the blocker side for the first one. Tried glove side on the second.— Raw Charge, a Champa Bay Lightning web site (@RawCharge) November 24, 2021
Sergachev took a puck-over-glass penalty near the end of the period, but the Lightning killed it off, giving up no shot attempts.
The Flyers were ahead in shot attempts (22-15) after the first period, but it was the Lightning and Bogosian who had the lead. Considering the Lightning were ahead for most of the period, it wasn’t actually that bad, especially since the Flyers came out hard with their scoring lines to try and tie the game quickly and got a power play.
Zach BogORRsian was having himself a night in this game, jumping into the rush, making some impressive moves, and creating a loose-puck opportunity for Stamkos on the far side of the net. The pass threaded the needle through a maze of orange and got to Stamkos’ stick where he finished it off. Bogorian got the primary assist on this one with his work around the net from the point shot by Sergachev.
Finally! Corey Perry scored his first goal of the season a full 17 and a half games into the season. Perry had racked up 3.6 expected goals coming into tonight, meaning if he was shooting at an average rate, you would expect him to get three plus goals by now considering where on the ice he’s shooting from. A month and 30 shots later and he finally has his first.
It was a dominant second period for the Lightning, who put up a healthy 23-8 shot share advantage on the Flyers and potted home two more goals to pad the lead. They also had two power plays, which didn’t exactly go great as they were nearly out-shot during them. But hey, without Kucherov and Point, it’s hard to expect Stamkos to get many looks without shooting threats elsewhere.
Perry hit another post later in the third, nearly getting his second of the night.
BB! Stamkos got his second assist of the game with this goal after Barre-Boulet took his faceoff win and whipped a shot through traffic past Carter Hart. A good goal from a set play, and another method to get the most out of the winger who’s struggled to stay away from the AHL (as much as we love the league, I’m sure he doesn’t want to be back so soon).